McCarthy, Castle Say 97-acre Next NGA West Project Graded, on Schedule

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies and Castle Contracting provided an update Wednesday on the progress that has occurred on the North St. Louis site of the future western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Next NGA West.

McCarthy VP of Operations Jeff Boyer said the construction schedule has not been impacted by COVID-19 so far because the project itself has involved a limited number of on-site workers. He added that the type of work performed – which requires using heavy equipment – naturally supports social distancing.

Design work, typically involving collaboration, is also proceeding on schedule thanks to remote collaboration via a number of technological applications. The facility’s design itself, Boyer said, has not been altered. Protocols currently inspired and augmented by COVID-19 may well be different five years hence once the NGA’s St. Louis staff of 3,150 workers moves into the new headquarters in 2025. According to Boyer, McCarthy HITT is committed to keeping construction of Next NGA West on track for completion in 2023. The span of time between substantial completion and the move-in of personnel will be spent on NGA instrumentation and commissioning of the facility for operation.

Castle Contracting LLC VP of Operations Mike Pranger said the site, located at the intersection of Jefferson and Cass Avenues in the historic St. Louis Place neighborhood, has provided a healthy challenge in terms of subsurface exploration and geotechnical work because records of what existed – utility locations and more – are incomplete. Castle mass graded and moved more than 775,000 cubic yards of dirt to clear and level the site for construction. Subsurface utility mapping technology, he added, has played a major role in locating underground utility lines, piping and other digging hazards. The technology includes sophisticated geophysical, geomatics and design software tools to accurately locate underground infrastructure before it can potentially delay a construction project.

The $1.7 billion construction project is being managed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and being built by McCarthy HITT Joint Venture, with oversight by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Air Force.

For more information on the project, see https://nextngawest.com/#/home.

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